Published in Small Business
West Michigan small businesses receive $1 million in state funding, ‘staggering’ need COURTESY PHOTO

West Michigan small businesses receive $1 million in state funding, ‘staggering’ need

BY MiBiz Staff Friday, May 01, 2020 05:13pm

Nearly 200 small businesses in West Michigan that are struggling to survive through the COVID-19 pandemic will receive grant support from the state’s Michigan Small Business Relief Program.

The grants — funded by the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) — may be used for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses or other similar expenses that occur in the ordinary course of business.

Out of $20 million released from the Michigan Strategic Fund for the emergency relief program, MEDC allocated the 11-county West Michigan region $1 million in grant funding to be administered by economic development agency The Right Place Inc. 

Eligible small businesses were able to demonstrate significant financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak or the state’s actions to control the virus. The need for funding was “staggering,” according to a statement from The Right Place. More than 3,300 small businesses applied, requesting more than $71 million in both grant and loan funding.

Well over half the available funds for the region will be distributed to 62 small businesses in Kent County, which will receive an average of about $10,000 each. Thirty companies in Muskegon County will collectively receive $140,000. 

The funding will be distributed county-by-county as follows:

  • Barry County: $32,800 in funding, five companies 
  • Ionia County: $40,715 in funding, seven companies 
  • Kent County: $615,000 in funding, 62 companies 
  • Lake County: $6,044 in funding, three companies 
  • Mason County: $26,948 in funding, 10 companies 
  • Mecosta County: $31,342 in funding, 25 companies 
  • Montcalm County: $44,230 in funding, 11 companies 
  • Muskegon County: $140,000 in funding, 30 companies 
  • Newaygo County: $25,482 in funding, 13 companies 
  • Oceana County: $21,090 in funding, 24 companies 
  • Osceola County: 15,231 in funding, five companies 

Information on individual grant recipients is unavailable, “to respect the privacy of the region’s small-business owners during this challenging time,” according to The Right Place. 

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